Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Spartan Motors Inc (SPAR)

Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR) was in 6 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. SPAR shareholders have witnessed an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers lately. There were 5 hedge funds in our database with SPAR positions at the end of the previous quarter.

According to most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated investment vehicles of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we at Insider Monkey look at the crème de la crème of this group, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by tracking their best equity investments, we have come up with a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR)

Just as integral, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are a number of reasons for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a peek at the recent action surrounding Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR).

What does the smart money think about Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR)?

At year’s end, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 20% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR). Royce & Associates has a $3 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Royce & Associates’s heels is GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, which held a $1.4 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Now, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, established the most outsized position in Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR). Millennium Management had 0.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR). These stocks are Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV), Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc (NYSE:HY), Wabash National Corporation (NYSE:WNC), Supreme Industries, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:STS), and Accuride Corporation (NYSE:ACW). This group of stocks belong to the trucks & other vehicles industry and their market caps resemble SPAR’s market cap.